Thursday 17 December 2015

More Chemo! Round 7

Today and yesterday I have forgotten the following things:

Put the bins out
And it was recycling night. 
And they are FULL.
Dave and I produce very little waste for landfill, about 1kg/week, but we have 2 rubbish and 2 recycling bins for the 10 flats where we live.
And next week is Christmas so they won't be collected until next Saturday!

Have my blood test
It's very important to get a blood test before each round of chemo. This shows if I am well enough to have the next round. e.g. has my White Cell count gone up again enough to take another hammering. Luckily for me I am surrounded by people who have my back. Between Dave and the staff at the Royal I was able to get in and have my blood test 10 mins before closing.

Put emla cream on my port
Emla cream makes your skin go numb. I usually put some on the area over my port where they put the needle in for chemo. It needs about 30-60 mins to take effect. When I arrived at the Royal today I realised I'd forgotten. So today I got the needles full effect. It stung!! If had a blister on my hand while rowing, or if I grabbed some nettles while weeding, I'd not have made a fuss at all. But for needles I become quite a wimp. 

That Chemo was booked for 9 am - NOT 10.30 am
I have no idea how I got it mixed up. There I was happily getting ready when I got a call from the Royal, who were expecting me at my booked time of 9 am. They were very good about it. After discovering that instead of being right on schedule we were running very late, we decided to drive in instead of walk. This is the first time I've not walked to and from chemo. At least the 8 flights of stairs at the hospital still gave as a little workout!
If I've forgotten anything else, I haven't remembered yet to know about it!

I think it's pretty fair to say that despite having an extra 2 weeks to prepare, I really wasn't ready for chemo this round.

Chemo took less time this visit as we've cut out one of the drugs - oxaliplatin. I was told with no promises that this may mean less side effects too. Well so far so good. After round 6 I was hit hard right away. So far all I feel is a slight 'fuzziness', and slight chemical taste in my mouth. Dave made us a fabulous salad for our lunch, and I drank a chilled glass of juice with no problems, which is great to be able to do.

I sort of didn't quite pass the urine test today though. I have to do a test before each round of chemo now since another drug (avastin) was added to my treatment. It was a bit borderline today, so I still got the avastin but I now have to do this crazy urine sample where I collect EVERYTHING for 24 hours. They've given me a gigantic tub.

Tonight is my work's Christmas party. I'm really looking forward to it. I won't be drinking, and I have my little bottle as usual, but I'm very glad I'm going to be able to go!

Friday 11 December 2015

Another Chemo-Free-Friday

I'm really enjoying not having chemo. As much as I'm grateful to have access to it, and prepared to put up with all the side effects it while it does its job, I'm not missing it either.

I went to the gym again today. It felt really good. I'm so lucky to have access to such great resource. I have the best provider of the most suitable exercises for me, with BODYSYSTEM Physio providing the Pinc Pilates program.

The workout I do is pretty tame compared to what I used to do, but it is perfect for me right now. My legs look like skinny little sticks compared to 6 months ago.

Exercise is so important. I've often found it to be a bit of a challenge to do enough. But if I thought it was hard before, it's harder now. I keep wanting to say it's more important now than ever, but I'm not sure that is true - its always super important and beneficial. 

After the gym Dave and I met Mum on Kingston Beach to walk the dogs, which was a lot of fun, and more exercise!

Thursday 10 December 2015

The Colonoscopy... of Joy

I've been looking forward to today, for several reasons. 
One, the colonoscopy is useful and important to get done. 
Two, I get to eat again once it's done. 
Three, voting for the Hottest 100 starts today.

And I must say it's been a day that ticked all the boxes. 
Once you've had one colonoscopy, major bowel surgery and various other smaller procedures, another colonoscopy is really no big deal.
Here is the extent of my suffering today:

We had to arrive at Calvary at 7.30 am, which is a bit harsh, then to reach the waiting room you have to walk past, almost through the hospital cafe which is a little cruel, then they subject you to Sunrise TV in the waiting room which is just horrible!

The nurses were lovely, one remembered me and Dave from my stay after surgery in August. The anesthetist did one of the most comfortable canulas I've had yet. 

I remember nothing of the procedure. I didn't have much sleep the night before and woke up feeling like I'd slept for hours (but still wanting to hit the snooze button).

And the procedure went well. The Doctor said I 'have a healthy bowel'. They didn't find any more polyps. It was a polyp that started this whole thing in the first place.
The view out the window from recovery - you can see our flat!

I've been googling polyps this afternoon. Causes are unknown but some evidence points towards unhealthy lifestyles or genetic factors. They are also more common in people over 60.  They rarely show any symptoms. Not all polyps will lead to cancer. Scary huh? So I just got one. With a healthy lifestyle, no genetic factors and at half the normal age group. And it turned into cancer.

If this was happening to someone I knew, I'd probably think 'ah I'm OK though'. But I'm still going to tell you all - you should all go and get yourself screened for all the screenable cancers. Now.

Anyway, my day today just got better and better.
After I came round they brought me some sandwiches and a coffee which I wolfed down, then Dave took me home and made me some delicious mushrooms on toast. 
Then I ate about 2 punnets worth of raspberries. 
Then we scoured the voting list for the Hottest 100.
27 Pages of fun
I had to sign a document this morning promising that I wouldn't drive, make important decisions, and other similar things for the rest of the day, and that I generally had to take it easy. Which I've most certainly done.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

I'm back

I had a really nice break in VIC. I think with the change of environment and routine I forgot I was sick at times. It was lovely to catch up with friends and family, and just take a break.

I also really enjoyed NOT having chemo on Friday, which was a fortnight from my last round. I've been taking too easy to know if I've been having any fatigue, but its been great to be almost 100% side effect free.

I don't like to complain about the chemo though, it's great that I have access to it - and for free - and it seems to be doing its job, but it was nice to have a break.

Here is what I'm up to today.
Bowel Prep, for my colonoscopy tomorrow. I have to drink one sachet at 12pm, one at 4pm and one at 8pm.

This is my 3rd bowel prep and my 2nd colonoscopy. It's no big deal really. I'm a bit hungry (I have to fast all day). I'm staying very close to the toilet. It gives me a chance to catch up on emails and housework. Both of which are out of control at the moment! And it's really windy outside which I don't like. Good day to stay inside!
And thank goodness I'm still allowed to drink (black) tea and coffee!

Another element to bowel prep is a low fibre diet for 2 days before fasting.

After finding out I'm sick we've adjusted how I eat, and I've settled into a diet focused on low GI (Glycemic Index) foods, lots of fresh fruit, veggies and salads, and avoiding any processed foods. This is mainly because cancer cells love sugar, and lots of fruits and veggies have anti cancer properties, although to be fair that is mainly prevention, not cure. It's actually a really nice way to eat though.

A low fibre diet is not great in my opinion. You pretty much have to cut out all fresh fruit and veggies, only a few veggies are OK and you have to boil them to death! But this is the first time I've done the low fibre diet since modifying my own diet, and this time I enjoyed treating myself to food not usually allowed on my regime, including fish and chips, toast, croissants and white bread rolls.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Round 6 Day 12

Before I start normal blogging, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for all the love and support! It really means a lot to me. I don't really have the words to say how much.

Anyway, blog...

I really hesitated to still use the old 'Round 6' title. BUT I am still experiencing side effects from the last round. I kind of feel it's good to acknowledge it's not even been 2 weeks yet since my previous round of chemo. The results of the PET scan are fantastic, but its not over yet. Previously at this point, I'd be 3 days away from my next round, this time its 17 days away. That means I get to feel good for just over 2 weeks! The closest I get to feeling fully well was every other Thursday. Will I feel even better this Friday? I hope so! Even if I don't - its really pretty good! I'm really excited to be not having chemo this Friday

This morning I did my Christmas shopping. Good to get it done! This afternoon I went to work. The first time in nearly 2 weeks. It feels so good to get behind that desk, to pick up the phone and say in my 'telephone voice' 'Good afternoon, BODYSYSTEM physio, this is Felicity', to greet the patients as they walk in, and see all my wonderful colleagues. Sometimes see them is as much as I get to do, we are busy and working after all, but its still great.
This morning I signed a contract that changes me from a 'permanent' position to 'causal'. This was a mutual decision that makes a lot of sense for me and for the business. Casual is what my roster has been since this whole thing started. It feels like a big deal. A really big deal. But it doesn't have to be forever. For now it makes sense.

I'm still processing the news of the PET scan. And I feel really tired. I think its a combination of a little bit of chemo fatigue, a little bit of 'I've been busy and I didn't get much sleep', and a lot of comedown from a very emotionally intense week.

I think I need a holiday! Oh, that's right - we're off to VIC tomorrow for a catch up with friends and relations! YAY!!

I'm not planning to blog during that time! Have a nice weekend everyone! xxx

Tuesday 1 December 2015

The Results are In

We got the results of the PET scan today. The tumors are greatly reduced, almost undetectable. This is awesome. I don't think it's fully sunk in yet. Actually I'm sure it hasn't.

One of the things I've been looking forward to (and also fearing) is knowing 'what's next'.

So this is what we know:

My next PET scan will be in another 3 months.

In the meantime, I won't have another round of chemo until the 18th of December, and for now it will be without any Oxaliplatin, which will hopefully mean milder side effects. The treatments might also be less frequent, and we'll try to change to a tablet form of chemo at some stage, which means no more bottles, which will be nice.

With this great result so far, I thought I'd spend the rest of the day on a high but instead I had a real energy crash. I guess it's been a big week.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Round 6 Day 10

I feel like I turned a bit of a corner on the fatigue front today.

Signs include: I did some housework. I made myself a 'proper' coffee.
And I went to the climate march today!
I'm really pleased I could make it to this! The way I've been going this week I'd pretty much decided I wouldn't be able to go. I did take the car though, which is a bit of a shame for a climate march - I'd rather have walked - but that really would have been too much.

After the rally I crashed a bit in the afternoon, but I'm still really pleased with how the morning went.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Round 6 Day 8 - The PET Scan

For a PET scan, they put you in a little lead lined room with a comfy chair and a TV. They put a cannula in my arm, and the tube leading from it goes into another room. 

Then you have to sit very still for an hour while they put a tracer in you. Its radioactive, which is why you are shut in the room on your own.

There was quite a wait to get started as I was the first appointment of the day and the stuff they inject you with had not yet arrived from Melbourne, it gets sent every day from the mainland.

I was much better at keeping still this time - I've had a lot of practice since then. I put double J on the TV and just rested.

After that, they take the cannula out (hooray!) and you have the scan. You lie on a bed for 20 mins while it moves through a tube. Once again, I found it much easier to keep still this time.

Then they keep you around for another 10 mins just to make sure you're OK and then you're free to go. 

You have to fast from midnight the day before, so the first thing I did when I got home was eat!

I spent the rest of the day resting, which I think is kind of funny as PETs have to be one of the most restful kinds of tests you can have.

And now we wait.

Round 6 Day 6 & 7

I'm still so tired! Some of my other side effects have been stronger this time too. This is the first day I feel I can be bothered to mention other side effects, but they don't deserve a big focus.

Yesterday I did 'very little' which I'm classing as slightly better than 'almost nothing'. That's OK though, I'm willing to accept that as part of the process. 

Today I went to the final Creative Expression Workshop. It starts at 10am, and I think I did pretty well getting up and ready at that time. So well that I briefly begun to wonder if my tiredness was actually due to having no plans for the day. Its not. The tiredness has stayed with me all day. Luckily the workshop is done at a gentle pace. Today has been the first time I've stepped out of the house since Sunday.

The workshop was excellent as usual. It was a little confronting too as during the course of the morning I realized how much fear I have of the PET scan tomorrow. There is no point of feeling nervous about it, as the scan doesn't change anything. Whatever is there is already there. The scan gives us the power of knowledge. Which is a very good thing.

I've eaten very well today. I was partly motivated by the fact I have to skip breakfast tomorrow - I have to fast from midnight before my scan. The scan will take up nearly the whole morning. And I'll probably just chill in the afternoon again.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Round 6 Day 4 & 5

I spent the whole of yesterday in bed. The whole day. No shower, no getting dressed, no blogging, definitely no going outside. 

I slept well last night though, and today I was showered and dressed before 11am!

But that is all I've done today. The rest of the time I've been sitting on the sofa. Moving around is not fun at the moment! But here I am at my laptop. Today has been much better than yesterday. Tomorrow should be better than today.

Here's a picture I took when we went to the Botanical Gardens on the 13th.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Round 6 Day 3


Slept nearly all day. 

Probably would have slept all day entirely if it wasn't for our appointment - 12.30pm bottle removal at Hospital.
We made it by 1.30pm. I skipped the shower today. That's a big deal for me. It's pretty rare for me to go out unshowered these days. 

There was certainly no walking in or taking the stairs today.

This could be the final round for a while. I'll be excited about that later when I have the energy.

Once home, I ate the small lunch Dave made for me. Then he went to work, and I went to bed. I slept solid for at least 3 hours.

I'm having trouble reading and writing today.

Dave got home, made me a small dinner (which I ate). I'll probably do some more sleeping soon.

The blog is a good motivator for me. Made me switch my laptop on. Made me take this nice picture to share (while waiting for Dave to bring the car to the Hospital entrance so I didn't have to walk).

Tree tops and sunshine. Yay for trees in urban areas

Saturday 21 November 2015

Round 6 Day 2

Dave's Birthday today.

He brought ME breakfast in bed. I'm really not in the condition I want to be for his birthday.

I made a big effort to get out of bed during the hours ending in 'AM'. Dave took me out for a short scenic drive on the eastern shore. 

A couple of nice beaches in Dodges Ferry

When we got back he made me lunch. We got visits from mum a good friend of ours. Then he went to work. 

Then I kicked our guests out and went to bed. I think I slept solidly for at least 4 hours.

We had a takeaway dinner as a Birthday treat for Dave - curry from Little India - a bit of a favorite of hours. 

Then we had some phone calls with family, now we're both worn out! Time for bed!

Friday 20 November 2015

Round 6 Day 1

So I started round 6 today. 

I'm feeling very tired, and displaying some serious 'Chemo Brain'.

Take that as an advanced warning that this blog might not make sense! Lets see how we go - I'm just taking my time. Everything seems to take twice as long when I'm in the thick of Chemo. Feel free to ask me to clarify things, or correct my spelling/grammar.

Our appointment was at 12.30pm. I was not overly happy with this time - all the other sessions have started in the morning. But this time actually worked out well. We had the morning free to get things done while I was feeling well (including my exercises!).

We walked to the Hospital, which is always enjoyable. Walked up the stairs to the 8th floor. Good workout.

Here's me about to start. My wonderful boss came up with the awesome idea of re-naming the chemo sessions into something more fun. We went with 'cocktail party'. And of course when you go to a cocktail party you must wear a frock. The ideal kind of dress for this type of party is something with pockets and a low cut or button up top. This dress is very unusual for me in that I bought it new and full price! The sales person told me about the aid work the company do in India, which for me justified the purchase. I bought a size too big for me but I managed to shrink it without even trying.
 Plugged in and ready to go

As soon as the Chemo started I began to feel tired and 'fuzzy'. They give you each drug one at a time. You can help yourself to tea and coffee. 

I think today I achieved my most Chemo Brain moment so far:
Before they start giving me the final drug the nurses needed a urine sample from me. No problem, I'd had plenty of coffee! Just before I headed into the bathroom the nurse made sure there were cups available and handed one to me. And I forgot to collect a sample. That is silly enough, but I then decided that to salvage the situation I would just scoop a bit out of the bowel. I mean, sure it would be watered down a bit, but I don't know how these tests work - perhaps they could still use it.

Or perhaps not. No. I may have been laughed at by a few people! So the nurses had to wait while I guzzled some warm water for another try. Take 2 went much more sensibly.

I'm always quite amazed at how fast the symptoms kick in. By the time I'd been there for a couple of hours my finger tips were tingling and I knew I would not be able to tolerate lower temperatures anymore.

I've had enough practice now though, and the warmer weather helps. I bring my 'Chemo Kit' with me. Long socks, neck fleece thing, gloves, beanie, thermal water bottle for warm water.

This is my last round before my PET, so I may not be going to these 'cocktail parties' for a while into the future (I hope). I've walked to and from every single Friday visit to the Hospital. Today it was really hard. I was really tempted to let Dave go ahead and come back with the car. But I think that would have felt like a defeat. We walked the whole way. It took us a good 45 mins! But I'm really glad we did it. 
Nearly home! With 'Chemo Kit' accessories - long socks, gloves and scarf. Oh, and you get to take a bottle home!

Despite all the coffee I'd drunk this afternoon I had no trouble having a little nap when we got home, then over to mums for dinner, which was really nice.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Round 5 Day 14

The end of Round 5.

Round 6 starts tomorrow. I'm getting a bit stressed about what comes next. 
My future is clear right up until Tuesday 1st December. That's less than 2 weeks.

Today was very busy. I saw my GP at 8.30am. Then I had a blood test. I got the same lady as last time - she was really nice and remembered me. 
You can't take the stairs at this particular pathology site, and I think they may have the slowest lifts in the world. The queue went out the front door. Dave and I were naughty and sneaked out via the stairs on the way out.

At 10am it was time for the Creative Workshop I've been attending each Thursday. I really do love the funny stretching/meditation exercises we do at the start. This week we decorated masks. Mine looked awful, but I was still pleased with it as I felt it really represented what I was trying to get across.

That ends at 1pm and I started work at 1.15pm. Work came with all its usual enjoyment but today my stress levels were high, I couldn't quite shake it off the way I usually do at work.

I picked Dave up from work. That is the first time I've driven the car during Round 5.

I feel really tired this evening. But I still did my exercises!

This isn't really today's news - but  I got approximately 25 mozzie bites the other night. This is fairly normal for me if I sit outside during warmer weather. I used to joke that the mozzies like to eat organic - this time I wonder if their meal might disagree with them later!

I really like to include a photo, so here is tonight's sunset.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Round 5 Day 13

A couple of cool things I saw today - Our sunflower seeds have started sprouting, and there were 2 kookaburras in our street - I've never seen one so close to home before. I hope they're moving in nearby.
I walked in to town again. I went to a guided meditation again. I don't know when I'll next do either of those things.

Straight after the meditation I went to a Cancer Council run support group for young adults with cancer. They had a guest speaker in today to talk about body image. I was a little worried that this would be along the lines of 'beauty tips for when you look ill', which I think would have just annoyed me. Instead it was more of a guided discussion then a talk, and we covered a lot of subjects in reasonable depth, and it was more things like, what is body image, why do we feel this way, what can we do about it, the perceptions and assumptions that happen. 

Straight after the support group I went to work. Straight after work I went round mums for a cup of tea. Straight after tea we picked Dave up from work and went home. 

It's felt a bit rushed today, but its also been enjoyable, my energy levels have been good, my side effects have been minimal, and the weather has been lovely.

Round 6 is really looming close now. Its like a deadline in some ways - I have to get as much done now while I'm feeling well, if it doesn't get done before this Friday it will have to wait another week.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Round 5 Day12

Busy day today, but full of good things.

I was really tired this morning and wanted to sleep in. But this was 'I've-been-out-walking-for-6-hours-yesterday' tired rather than 'chemo-fatigue' tired, which is a good distinction to make.

My energy levels have been pretty good today, possibly driven by an slight increase in stress levels as round 6 approaches, but that's OK, all normal really.

I did a few chores in the morning, and started to tell myself that maybe I didn't have time to walk to town today, but then decided that it was something worth making time for. And I'm really glad I did. I really enjoyed walking in today. The weather was really pleasant, and even though I still had a hundred things running through my brain, I had a smile on my face.

One of the other things I made time for today was a guided meditation at the Lotus Centre. It's a really nice space, and just like exercise, I'm much more likely to do it when supervised!

After the meditation it was straight to work. And I really enjoyed that too. And then tonight we had some after-work drinks together which was really lovely, while we're at work its all very professional so its really nice to spend some social time together.

I didn't take any photos today! (I would have taken some pictures of some nice clouds while I was walking to work but my camera was in my bag and I was in a hurry). Yesterday I took 212 photos. So here's another nice picture from yesterday.

Monday 16 November 2015

Round 5 Day 12

Epic Day!

Dave and I went to Shipstern Bluff. We took the 'scenic route' so it took 2 hours to get there, but we always enjoy the drive, listening to some of our favorite music and looking at the views.

The walk to Shipstern was really beautiful, with great views and spring flowers and we saw a snake and and three echidnas. 
It's described as a 4 hour walk - we were out for 6 hours! Some of walk was steep and pretty challenging for me. It's a little frustrating for me as it really highlights how much fitness I've lost over these 4 months. However that time does include lots of stopping to take photos, enjoy views and eat our delicious packed lunch that Dave prepared for us.
And what a spectacular walk! Well worth it - I'd like to go again when I'm fitter and do the Cape Raoul walk too.
Dave and I were both tired and achy after the walk. Dave did ALL the driving. I skipped my exercises that evening!

And as we approach my last round of Chemo, my nerves are really jangling, so I still couldn't sleep last night!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Round 5 Day 10

My energy levels were a bit better today, but I'm tired now!

The weather has been fabulous today. In the morning Dave and I went to a Market in Dodges Ferry. It was great - a really beautiful spot and a really nice little market - I'd like to go again next time.
Lovely Dodges Ferry
In the afternoon my Mum and I went to the 2015 COSA Public Forum (Clinical Oncology of Australia). It was really interesting, with some really great speakers. It was tiring too. There was a lot of sitting. I'm suffering a little from information overload right now but I hope to process and make use of a lot of it.
It was quite motivating too - I'm getting into a bit of a routine, which is getting into a bit of a rut. If nothing else, its reminded me I really should be doing more exercise! So hopefully this is the start of me being more diligent with my home exercise programme I have.
This is from one of the presentations. If you can read this poor quality photo you will see exercising regularly is a very good idea! 
If I'm prepared to put myself through chemo I jolly well ought to be able to make myself do a few squats and sit ups regularly!
So this evening while Dave was cooking dinner I did my exercises. It didn't take long, these are exercises tailored especially for me by my expert colleagues, and it certainly feels like they are spot on for me at the moment. It gave me a sense of achievement too. Hopefully I'll sleep well tonight! (Last night was bad and I resorted to a meditation, which was another new one, and another one that I won't be using again!).

Oh and Massive Congratulations to all those who did Point to Pinnacle today! You're all Stars! But especially to by BODYSYSTEM team! xxx

Saturday 14 November 2015

Round 5 Day 9

It's the weekend!


I didn't do anything...

It was quite nice. Usually my 'non chemo Saturdays' are pretty action packed. When the fatigue would lift it would feel so good I'd get a kind of buzz from it. But today I'm still a little drained. 
It worries me a bit. Is it just a normal accumulation of the fatigue side effect? Or am I kind of slowing down, getting used to doing not a lot. Probably a bit of both.

Well I didn't do nothing. I got up and dressed by 10.30am.
I made friends with a bee. 
I took the recycling out, and found her looking very bedraggled and sorry for herself. I took her out to the balcony where is was more sheltered, and sat with her for a while. The sun came out and she warmed up and flew away. I love bees!

I put an photo album on facebook, always an achievement for me - I'm so far behind. 

I heard about the horrific news in France. It's so awful. I don't know what to say. It made me feel like I shouldn't have put that album up today. I feel so sad for everyone effected.

I started sorting out my list of favorite songs of 2015. That is fun and it's a massive job so it's good to have made a good start.

I've also been up to doing a few little chores around the house. It feels good to be up to it, and stuff gets done! So it's a double win.

I'd like to shout out to my colleagues doing Point to Pinnacle tomorrow - the worlds toughest half marathon!
They're fundraising for the GI Cancer Institute. (They do research for Gastro-Intestinal cancers - including bowel cancer.)

Here is their fundraising page:

                       Good Luck Guys! You're Awesome! xxx

Friday 13 November 2015

Round 5 Day 8

Another slow start to the day. By which I mean it was 12pm by the time I was up and dressed.

It was a beautiful day today. Once I was mobilized we went to centrelink. There was quite a wait, and at one point a lady nearby started coughing quite badly. It reminded me that I really need to be careful when out and about - my immune system will not be very good at the moment. I left Dave inside to queue for us and waited outside.

Later in the afternoon we went to the Botanical Gardens. I don't think we've ever visited so late in the day before. It was great to see everything with a different light on it. It was beautiful, and there were yellow-tailed black cockatoo's in the tall pine trees - they are wonderful birds.
Today Triple J declared it Aus Music T Shirt Day. Being a bit of a music T-Shirt fan I made a point of wearing my signed Lanie Lane T shirt (and now shamelessly sharing it on this blog!). I got this T-Shirt when I saw her play at the Grand Poobah in May 2012.

After visiting the Gardens we caught up with a friend at the Westend Pumphouse, which was great, we should do it more often!

Thursday 12 November 2015

Round 5 Day 7

Today was 'art class' again. 10am felt like a very early start. But once again I found the class surprising and enlightening - well worth the effort of getting there. And I get to help myself to coffee which obviously helps a lot.
And today we worked with the medium of clay

After the class I caught up with a colleague for lunch at Pulp Friction cafe in Collins Street.
I'm regularly blown away by the love and support from my workplace.

After that, I was really tired! The weather was perfect for curling up on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon (pouring with rain).

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Round 5 Day 6

Today I feel I can upgrade my status to 'like a person with a hangover'.
And I don't mean one of those awful hangovers, just a mild sort of one.
I can shuffle around the house doing little jobs as long as I have lots of rest in between. And drink lots of tea. 

I did a few little chores like loading the dishwasher, watering my plants, and some washing. I really enjoy hanging washing out on the line. The nasturtiums are looking awesome at the moment.

I found my knitting needles that I've been missing for about 6 months too - which was very exciting (they were in a box in the wardrobe, obviously).
Then I discovered I've forgotten how to knit, which I don't think I can blame chemo-brain for!

I think I'm getting pretty good at guarding myself at certain side effects, so its a surprise when then they catch me out - they are supposed to accumulate. So it turns out I still can't gulp cold drinks too fast or it will catch in my throat on day 6 this round. 

Note to my blog readers - thank you for reading! And don't worry - I don't intend to talk you through every single boring day! My idea is to take you through one round day by day, then I plan to calm down and bit and just bring you the highlights.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Round 5 Day 5

Not much to report today. Last night I slept well. Then I continued to sleep solidly until 12.30pm!
By about 3pm I was showered and dressed.
Other achievements for today include: Watering the plants, checking the post, picking a flower, eating 3 meals. 

I'm getting to that stage of the round where I feel fine - almost well rested, as long as I'm not doing anything. This will occasionally trick me into trying to do things. Which then requires me to sit down and recover. I'm pretty wise to it now though, and mostly don't try anything too ambitious! 

I didn't take any interesting pictures today, so here's picture taken yesterday evening.

Monday 9 November 2015

Round 5 Day 4

This morning I woke up just after 5am. The birds were in full dawn chorus. It was just wonderful to listen to. It made me feel like I was wide awake. I got up and took a picture of the mountain with the morning sun on it. And I ate some strawberries.


Then I went back to bed until 12.30pm!

When I did get back up, I mostly sat on the sofa. Mostly... I did do some other things too.

I took the compost out and was very excited to find a pot marigold growing! I've been throwing down seeds for about 2 years. There's no way I'm picking this flower!

I also 'helped' while Dave planted the tomato plants and sunflower seeds. Good to have that done. 
Sunflower seeds

Sunday 8 November 2015

Round 5 Day 3

I've had worse Day 3's but I've had better too.

One great thing about Day 3 is that I get my bottle removed. 
This however requires leaving the house and going to hospital. Which means getting up, showered and dressed. Its quite an effort, but its good that it gets me up. No walking in today though!

So mostly today was spent sleeping. But I did pick another flower (as I walked from the car to the front door).

And I took a photo of some pretty clouds from the balcony.

I haven't done any crochet today, but I did take a picture of the square I finished yesterday.
And I've written my blog!
And I ate 3 meals.

These are all achievements on a day like this.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Round 5 Day 2

I had one of those strange nights of sleep. I have no memory or sensation that I have slept at all. But I guess I must have as surely I would have checked the time more often...

Then I sleep more normally in the morning. And the afternoon.

This was a good Saturday for me. Lots of side effects, but mostly mild. 

I got showered a dressed, so big tick there.
I can read and write OK in short bursts. I even managed another crochet square.

Mostly I've just sat or slept on the sofa today. My fit-bit report looks pretty pathetic!

I did go outside and pick a flower though! I didn't think I would manage today, but then I realized I can reach one geranium bush from halfway down the stairs. Its a great moral booster for me to at least step outside. And to do that on a chemo Saturday is very good for round 5.

Flowers from the garden. The geraniums are so easy as you don't have to remember to take secateurs - they break off neatly.

Friday 6 November 2015

Round 5 Started Today

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep. My rule is if I'm still struggling after midnight I play a sleep meditation on my phone. I tried out a new one. I found it funny! It was kind of cheesy! Well it made me laugh and helped a little but I don't think I'll use it again.

The appointment was at 9am. We walked in to town. This required what is now considered an early start for me and I slept a bit later than I'd planned.
I always love walking to town. It's a busy time of day to walk in. Life everywhere. And spring too. How lovely.

Then the usual workout - 8 flights of stairs up to the oncology day ward. The hallway was full of people waiting outside and this notice on the door.
Shortly after that someone came out and said it would be another 15 mins. Dave made some phone calls, I sat on a windowsill and waited.  It wasn't that long.
Selfie before Chemo begins

I got hit with a bit of mild fatigue pretty soon. A sort of 'fuzzy head' feeling. And reactions to cold temperatures. I spent most of the time just sitting. I usually get up and walk around a lot more.
We didn't have any paperwork to catch up today (hooray) but I took phone calls from my Superfund and Centrelink, and the dietitian came and had a chat with us. We fine-tuned some details around sugar in fruit juices and the GI levels in bread and rice.
I even played some Sudoku's on my phone - I think I stuffed up the last one and now I can't finish it without mucking up my winning streak - oops, chemo brain!
And I drank a lot of tea and coffee.
The nurses come and go, saline flushes, glucose flushes, chemo drugs, and finally my bottle to go home with.
We walked home. Slower. And with me looking very silly with my gloves and scarf over my mouth and nose. My face and hands were going numb in the fresh air.
Chemo Fashion. Its not the best look.

I popped in at work and said hi at work before we went home, as it is so close to the hospital - always nice to see the guys - I'm not there often enough now.
On a Chemo Friday, sometimes it feels like a race against time, doing the last things I can before I go splat.

Also on a Chemo Friday, Dave and I try to treat ourselves somehow, as a bit of a moral boost. This is how we ended up at Bunnings this afternoon.
We bought Sunflower seeds and tomato plants for our balcony. I am ridiculously excited about this. In spirit. Obviously. I'm not actually jumping up and down at the moment.  

But then we got carried away with the treats. Not at Bunnings. 

We heard the news that Joanna Newsom is doing some dates in Australia in Jan 2016. This is not an opportunity to be missed. So we bought tickets! Now we will have to buy flights and accommodation. This is what I call 'frivolousness leading to more frivolousness'. Oops. But I'm even more excited about this than the sunflowers! 
We played some Joanna Newsom records to celebrate the purchase of our Joanna Newsom tickets

Next round we will skip the treat! The fact that is the last one will be a big moral booster anyway.